Sunday 28 August 2016

More First Carlist War Units

Three First Carlist War items have come off the painting table this week.

First up, two units of Carlist infantry, this time in the marching pose wearing a mix of frock coat and greatcoat. 

And then there is Carlist field gun, to which I added a priest for some Devine inspiration for the crew.

Currently on the painting table is the first unit of Carlist cavalry.

Wednesday 24 August 2016

Carlist Mountain Gun Team

As promised on Monday, here are a few shots of the packed mountain gun, shown in its deployed setting in the previous post. This is a great little set from the Perrys.

I spent a bit more time than usual on the bases. I wanted to get the look of the team moving through rugged terrain, including the edge of a mountain stream along side one of the teams. 

I will follow a similar theme when I eventually do the mountain gun teams for the Isabelino and French Foreign Legion forces.

Monday 22 August 2016

What's on the Conveyer Belt Today?

And the answer is...Russian Crimean War infantry of course! This week saw the completion of the third of my jäger regiments, the Borodino Jäger Regiment. This is the last of the Russian infantry I am doing for this project. There are seven regiments in all, each of four battalions of eighteen figures - that is 504 figures in total.

There is another order for Crimean War figures away at the moment, another French infantry regiment and a Russian battery, but while I await the arrival of these, I have turned my attention back to the Carlist War. The first item completed here is the Carlist mountain gun team. This is a fantastic set with a gun, three crew and ammunition mule.

I have also finished the "packed" version of this, but the bases aren't quite complete. I will post an image of these in a couple of days.

Sunday 14 August 2016

Crimean War Game

Today marked a significant day in my Great Crimean War project. It was the first time that the armies appeared on the table “in anger”.

The game was really a shakedown for a slightly larger game to be held later in the year, the goal being to ensure that the rules capture the spirit of the period.

The scenario was set quite soon after the battle of the Alma, while the Allied forces were setting up their bases on the southern shores of the peninsula and establishing siege lines in front of Sevastopol. In an attempt to drive the Allies back on their bases, or at least to delay the establishment of siege lines until more Russian forces could arrive, the Russian commander attacked across the Chernya River.
The Russians easily secured their primary objective, the village of Vitebisk that covered the Chernya bridge, but success of the operation could only really be assured by the occupation of the hill south of the village that dominates the road between the British and French bases. So victory conditions for the Russians were set as:
• Major victory – hold the hill at the end of the game.
• Minor victory – hold Vitebisk at the end of the game
• Defeat –Vitebisk is taken by the allies, regardless of any other objectives taken
The allied forces desperately needed to contain the Russians. The French and British commanders understand of the importance road and their primary objective is to secure it. Acting without communication of the each of them have scrambled together a force and despatched them to area. Their victory conditions are:
• Major Victory – compel the Russian force off the table to the north
• Victory – secure the road – Russians control the road if at the end of the game they have six or more unshaken units that occupy the road or can bring it under fire.
• Defeat – any result not shown above.
Neither side was aware of the finer details of the other's victory conditions.
The Allied Reserve
The Allies, who are outnumbered by the Russians, can call on a Sardinian brigade as a reserve, but calling the reserve comes at a cost in that the victory conditions change -  they must occupy all or part of Vitebisk with two or more battalions of good order infantry at the end of the game. Any other result is a defeat.

The Terrain
The terrain is shown on the map, north up. All slopes are east going, the main hill in the centre was double the height of the other two ridges. Not shown on the map is a small stream that running southwest from Vitebisk, The southwestern edge of the eastern ridge is lightly wooded. The immediate area around Vitebisk contains a number of fields and vineyards.

Initial deployments were:
• Russians – within the yellow box
• French  - within the rrd box
• British – within the blue box
• Allied Reserve - within the red box
Orders of Battle
Russian Army
1st Division
  1st Brigade
     Azov Regiment
     Dniper Regiment
   2nd Brigade
      Ukraine Jager Regiment
      Odessa Jager Regiment
      16th Position battery
       30th Light battery
2nd Division
   1st Brigade
       Odessa Regiment
       Vladimir Regiment
       9th Position Battery
       17th light battery
Cavalry Division
    Dragoon Brigade
       Moscow Dragoon Regiment
       Finland Dragoon Regiment
    Hussar Brigade
       Archduke Ferdinand Hussar Regiment
       New Ingermanland Hussar Regiment
       35th Don Cossack Regiment
       28th Don Cossack Regiment
       3rd Ural Cossack Regiment
       3rd Don Cossack Battery
• 24 Infantry Battalions
• 7 cavalry Regiments
• 10 guns
British Army
1st Division
    Guards Brigade
       1/Coldstream Guards
       1/Scots Guards
       3/Grenadier Guards
    Highland Brigade
       42nd Regiment
       79th Regiment
       93rd Regiment
       A Battery RA
       H Battery RA
 4th Division
    1st Bde
       20th Foot
       21st Foot
       63rd Foot
    2nd Brigade
       46th Foot
       1/Rifle Brigade
       E Battery RA
       F Battery RA
    Light Brigade
       17th Lancer Regiment
       4th Light Dragoon Regiment
       13th Light Dragoon Regiment
       8th Hussar Regiment
       11th Hussar Regiment
       A Battery RHA
French Army
1st Division
    1st Brigade
       1st Chaseur a Pied
       1st Zouave Regiment
       7th line Infantry Regiment
       3/8th Battery Montée
       1/9th Battery Montée
    Cavalry Brigade
       1st Regiment Chasseurs d'Afrique
       2nd Regiment Chasseurs d'Afrique
       1/6th Battery a Cheval
• 18 Infantry Battalions
• 7 Cavalry Regiments
• 8 guns

In all morecthan 1,000 figures and 18 guns were on the table.
The Game

The Russians had the first move and advanced rapidly out of the town, pushing the dragoons and hussars across the the main hill, intent of taking post between the allied troops. The Cossacks, with the Cossack artillery, took the ground to right of the town where they faced the advancing British. The 2nd Division also moved in this direction, while the 1st Division moved to the left to face the French.

The British player deployed the Light Brigade on their left, facing the Cossacks. The Highland Brigade led the advance , supported by the 4th Division, while the Brigade of Guards formed the reserve. 

The French player threw the Chasseurs forward up the road, the zouaves to the left of the road and the line regiment on the right. The cavalry brigade swung right, along the ridge, looking to gain the Russian left flank.

The Russian regular cavalry, having secured the hill, swung right to face the British. The Highlanders formed square in the face of this threat, while the rifles and the 46th Foot formed on their left.

Meanwhile the Light Brigade formed up to attack the Cossacks, but two Russian batteries cut the 17th Lancers and 13th Light Dragoons to pieces and they were compelled to withdraw from the fight before they could have any effect on the battle. The 11th Hussars charged the Cossack battery and, despite taking heavy losses, routed the gunners and broke through onto a unit of cossacks beyond, but could not drive off the cossacks.

On the other flank the Russian infantry secured the hill and three infantry regiments moved against the French, who struggled to deploy. The Zouaves attempted to charge, but were easily repulsed. But before the Russians could exploit the situation the Zouaves rallied and the French line stabilised. 

On the French far right, the cavalry deployed and advanced. The 1st Regiment Chasseurs d'Afrique charged and routed a Russian battalion. Next turn the 2nd Regiment Chasseurs d'Afrique charged and routed two more Russian battalions, but took such heavy losses in the combat they were effectively out of the battle.

But the end was nigh for the French and two Russian Regiments descended on them like a sledge hammer. In a short time the French infantry and artillery were driven from the field.

Meanwhile in front of the Highland Brigade the Russian cavalry withdrew and a the Russian infantry came forward. The Scots charged, but were repelled. The Russians then pressed forward and drove off the Highlanders.

The Light Brigade continued its activities against the cossacks, but were eventually destroyed. 

Only the Brigade of Guards and a couple of battalions of 4th Division stood in the way of the Russians. A desperate attack by the Scots Guards drove off half a Russian regiment, but the writing was on the wall and British conceded the field.

The Sardinians did appear briefly on the field, but recognised the futility of their effort and withdrew.

The Russians could claim a major victory.

So did the game serve its purpose, to test that the rules captured the spirit if the period? On the whole I think the rules worked well, although the Allies did not gain enough advantage from the rifled musket. This will be corrected fir the next game.